Aleksandr Nikitin: I did not ask for asylum in Canada

Publish date: October 21, 1997

Written by: Igor Kudrik

--I did not apply for asylum in Canada, says Aleksandr Nikitin in an interview with Bellona Web today. Nikitin thus rejects rumours to the contrary, spread by Interfax yesterday.

On Monday this week, Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin stated that spy-charged Bellona co-worker Aleksandr Nikitin will be allowed to emmigrate to Canada after law enforcement bodies complete the investigation of the case. The statement came on a press conference held together with the Chernomyrdin’s Canadian collegue Jean Chretien.

–I consider myself an innocent person and want all the charges against me to be dropped, said Aleksandr Nikitin to Bellona Web. –Before this happens, I do not plan to go anywhere, he added.

Aleksandr Nikitin thus rejects the rumours spread by Interfax. The Russian news agency yesterday claimed that Nikitin had applied for asylum in Canada.

This is the second time the Nikitin case has been broached by the Canadian Prime-Minister during negotiations with high-ranking Russian officials. On the first occasion, the Canadian Prime Minister expressed his concern over the Nikitin process to Boris Jeltsin at the G-7 meeting related to nuclear safety issues in Moscow, April 1996.